Guenter Seidel, a triple team bronze medal winning U.S. Olympian, is back at Grand Prix level with a new horse: Equirelle W.
After a two year break from international Grand Prix competition, Seidel has returned into the big arena at the 2020 CDI-W Wellington on Thursday 23 January 2020, competing Equirelle W in the 3* Grand Prix. The pair finished 13th with 66.500%.
Equirelle W is an 11-year old Dutch warmblood mare by Florett As out of Orchidee T (by Donnerhall). She is bred by A. de Wit in The Netherlands and is a full sister to Danish young riders' horse Cavanillas W (Sandra Aagaard Hyrm).
Kyra Klinkers and Equirelle W
The black mare came in training with Dutch Kyra Klinkers as a youngster and she took the horse all the way up to Grand Prix level.
In 2016 the combination was selected to represent The Netherlands at the World Young Horse Championships in the 7-year old division. They were 8th in the Finals with 73.844%.
They competed in one more CDI in their career, the 2018 CDI Lier in Belgium at small tour level, where they posted 67.588% in the Prix St Georges and 69.100% in the Inter I Kur to Music.
Three months later in June 2018 the then 9-year old mare made her Grand Prix debut at the regional show in Someren, The Netherlands, on a very hot summer day and the pair scored 66.6%. It was also Klinkers' fifth Grand Prix test in her career.
Second Leatherdale Horse for Seidel
In May 2019 Louise Leatherdale purchased Equirelle W from breeder De Wit in Holland and shipped her to the U.S.A for Guenter Seidel to develop.
Seidel began a collaboration with Leatherdale Fams. In February 2018 Louise Leatherdale sent the now 11-year old Hanoverian gelding Beltano (by Belissimo M x Hohenstein) to Seidel's base in California for training.
"When I got her to my barn after the flight and quarantine she was very difficult in her temperament, which was surprising as she wasn't like that with her previous rider Kyra nor with Egbert Kraak who had her for sale," Guenter told Eurodressage. "It took her a few month to settle in, but she is great now."
Guenter was pleased with his mare's performance in their first international Grand Prix together.
"It was green, with some costly mistakes, but overall I'm happy with her," he said. "She has three very good gaits, and her walk is exceptional! She has a great work ethic and I just feel I need to figure out how to prepare and warm up at shows now and get some experience and mileage with her in the show arena."
Back with Beltano
Seidel and Beltano did their first competition season in California in the spring of 2019. Beltano has not been out to shows since April 2019, but he made his come back in Wellington this weekend, making a strong second place finish in the 1* Prix St Georges on a score of 71.324%.
"I will do another season of small tour right now," said Guenter.
Guenter last competed at international Grand Prix level with Linda Alexander's 13-year old KWPN show jumping bred Crush on You (by Prestige x Kannan) in the spring of 2018. Before Crush on You there was Charlotte Masburn's KWPN bred Zero Gravity (by Royal Hit x Contango), which Guenter showed from 2015 till 2016. the 16-year old Zero Gravity is now campaigned by Canadian Colleen Church McDowall.
"Crush had hurt herself and had a longer break," Guenter explained, adding, "but she is just starting back again."
Guenter is in Florida for a two month period, after which he'll return home to California to continue the show season.
"I'm here until the end of February," said the Olympian. "We didn't have any shows in California right now, but I will be back when our CDI's in California start in March."
Photos © Lily Forado
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